5E Does a D&D Videogame have to be turn-based?

View Poll Results: Should the next D&D videogame use a turn-based mechanic?

Voters
95. This poll is closed
  • Yes. Turn-based FTW!

    64 67.37%
  • No. I don't want turns in my videogames.

    13 13.68%
  • Other; I will explain in the comments.

    5 5.26%
  • I am not a number! I am free man! Your polls do not constrain me!

    13 13.68%
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  1. #1
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    Does a D&D Videogame have to be turn-based?

    So, after the comments and polling in the last thread-

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...me-do-you-want

    A theme started to emerge. I have been trying to understand what people (or, at least the various sorts that pop up here at enworld ... I am not convinced of our shared humanity, given the unsettling prominence of Paladin-lovers) really want in a D&D videogame.

    So my first attempt at a poll was, I assumed, pretty basic. Trying to get at the best graphical presentation. But I think there's something even more fundamental-

    Should a D&D videogame be turn-based? Is that necessary for the "essence" of D&D?

    See, here's the thing. Turn-based videogames are, well, a distinct minority today. There are very, very, very few franchises that do it well, and will continue to do so. Like, um, Civilization. And ...

    The majority of videogames now employ, for better or worse, real time.

    A further issue is consoles. While PC/Mac/Linux (computers) still do turn based really well, I can't remember the last time I played a great turn-based game on the console. I would think that we would want a D&D game on the PS4/XB/Switch. But maybe I'm wrong.

    OTOH, a turn-based mechanic is fundamental to the playstyle of the TTRPG.

    So what do y'all think? Getting down to the fundamentals, is turn-based play a must-have for a D&D videogame?

  2. #2
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    I think Darkest Dungeon does a good job of turn-based D&D type play. A similar model might work well for an actual D&D game. I really enjoy that game.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    A further issue is consoles. While PC/Mac/Linux (computers) still do turn based really well, I can't remember the last time I played a great turn-based game on the console. I would think that we would want a D&D game on the PS4/XB/Switch. But maybe I'm wrong.
    Play Divinity: Original Sin immediately.

    Immediately!!!!!
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  4. #4
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    I love Civ (well up to IV at least), and turn based works well there. I doubt I would be interested in a D&D videogame if it were anything but real-time. I have played and enjoyed Baldur's Gate (I & II), Icewind Dale (I & II), Neverwinter Nights and Pillars of Eternity and none of them were turn based.

    It does not need to mimic the TTRPG experience - I can go to Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds and play with real people to get turn based D&D on the computer.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillsy7 View Post
    Play Divinity: Original Sin immediately.

    Immediately!!!!!
    I just looked it up.

    Original, or the Sequel (Original Sin 2)?

    How does it play on consoles? I do most of my games (except, ahem, Civ) on consoles.

  6. #6
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    I really liked the old SSI Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds ones. Turn based did make them feel more like D&D.

    Neverwinter Nights was also turn based, but for some reason it didn't capture me as much.

    For me, the difference may have been that as I got older, I just had less time to play and it got harder to impress me.

    Additionally, to be honest, I think I like a video game that actually keeps the party closer "on rails" so that it is easier to see the story unfold. To me, a video game will never be able to compete with the real thing to provide a sand box experience, so I don't even think games should try. I think games should include cut scenes to help immersion taking advantage of visual/audio cinematic technique.

  7. #7
    IMO, yes. Otherwise it's just another typical fantasy video game that doesn't feel like D&D. I said it in the other threads, and I'll say it again. If you (as a developer) have to completely rewrite how 99% of spells and abilities work from how they work in D&D because you're real time (like countdown timers), and if players with quicker reflexes on their controllers are rewarded, then it doesn't feel like D&D at all. Just another Skyrim or Diablo (depending on perspective). Don't get me wrong, those are great games. But they're not D&D. If you can't capture the feel of D&D, then I won't play it on a video game.
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  8. #8
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    IIRC, Baldur's Gate (etc) wasn't, and neither was Neverwinter Nights. The Baldur's Gate series and its spinoffs include some of the best D&D games ever made (Planescape Torment, etc.) so I'm going with no, it doesn't have to be turn based.

    (Assuming by turn-based you mean "without a spacebar pause" as those games all had that so you could make it kinda turn-based).

    I think they had turns going on behind the scenes, but the player didn't deal in turns. Or was there an option which let you turn turns on?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    I just looked it up.

    Original, or the Sequel (Original Sin 2)?

    How does it play on consoles? I do most of my games (except, ahem, Civ) on consoles.
    Definitely play the original first. Simply because it's such a good game that you really shouldn't miss out on it. I played on PC instead of the console version (got it on the cheap via a Steam sale). I really don't see why playing on a console would be much different though. From the reviews I've seen, people seem just as happy with the console version as the PC. I wish I could be of more help as far as console goes. The long and short of it is, don't miss out on this one. It's a lot of fun with a quirky sense of humor and a really solid adventure.

    As for the original question, I'm not sure if turn based is absolutely required for a D&D game. I do think that, so far, it's worked better than others. Oddly enough, I found that the freedom to do what you want and go where you want in the Elder Scroll games gave me the closest feeling to a pen and paper rpg. That freedom, completely separate from whatever rules, seemed to capture that table top feel for me personally. Like I said in the other thread/poll, D&D is a complex game. Especially if you're playing a spell caster. So the turn based structure seems to provide you the ability to flip through your various powers and spells on your turn. You don't have to limit your selections as much. With any other rpg, like say Dragon Age or Skyrim, you have some kind of pause mechanic during combat to make your selections. Which, if you're going to be pausing for each character in your party, may as well be a turn based game anyway. Dragon Age tries to have the best of both worlds, where you can pause, have a tactical view, or just straight up fight in real time. I find that I tend to be the pause during combat kind of player. So really, I kind of default to turn based anyway. Thought that choice to pause or play in real time still kind of requires a reduced complexity. Wizards become just blasters, for example.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    IIRC, Baldur's Gate (etc) wasn't, and neither was Neverwinter Nights. The Baldur's Gate series and its spinoffs include some of the best D&D games ever made (Planescape Torment, etc.) so I'm going with no, it doesn't have to be turn based.

    (Assuming by turn-based you mean "without a spacebar pause" as those games all had that so you could make it kinda turn-based).

    I think they had turns going on behind the scenes, but the player didn't deal in turns. Or was there an option which let you turn turns on?
    I would totally consider those games turned based though, and any significant battle was paused in between turns. This video is a perfect example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ94ki5_AiI
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